What Voids a Car Warranty?
Like any other contract, a car warranty can be breached – by both owner and manufacturer. When manufacturers give warranties, they promise to perform repairs as long as the car buyer meets certain conditions and maintains the vehicle in a reasonable manner. If you fail to hold up your end of the bargain, your manufacturer can do the same.
What May Void Your Entire Warranty
Depending on the circumstances, a manufacturer might exclude repairs on certain parts due to an owner’s misuse of a vehicle. However, some things will invariably void your entire warranty.
Improper Use of the Vehicle
Although “improper use” is a broad term that can mean a lot of different things, it typically refers to activities such as street racing, overloading, and off-roading. Basically, any driving that takes place outside the realm of everyday driving is grounds for a breach of warranty.
Manufacturer warranties do not extend to damage sustained in natural disasters, such as an earthquake, flood, or fire.
Tampering with the Odometer
Although there is no definitive way for a manufacturer to determine whether an odometer has been tampered with, computers make it very easy for manufacturers to pull a vehicle’s maintenance history. Manufacturers will examine these records in an effort to spot inaccuracies in mileage.
Ways to Void Warranties on Repairs and Parts
In some cases, a manufacturer might determine that it is not obligated to honor certain aspects of the warranty. Although this does not completely invalidate your warranty, it can still end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Neglect your car at your own peril. Like people, cars either thrive or deteriorate depending on what they consume and how they are treated. If you drive for years without changing your vehicle’s oil, you will eventually damage your engine.
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act is a federal law that requires manufacturers to honor warranties despite a vehicle’s aftermarket modifications. To successfully challenge a modification, the manufacturer must prove that the changes created the need for repairs.
Avoiding Voiding – How to Keep Your Warranty Intact
Read the Fine Print
To understand exactly what is covered and precisely what types of use will jeopardize your warranty, simply sit down and read it. Most companies bury important details in the fine print. Your car’s warranty should blatantly state what is not covered.
Perform Regular Service Checks
Routine maintenance is always a good idea for any car, but it is especially important for keeping your warranty in place. Get regular oil changes and inspections. More importantly, keep records of them.
Do Not Hesitate to Dispute
If a service technician informs you that a repair is not covered by your warranty, speak to someone higher up in the dealership. Do not be afraid to argue your case. After all, you have a lot to lose if your manufacturer decides to void your warranty.